Simone Biles returns to compete in gymastics balance beam final in Tokyo Olympics

Simone Biles, of the United States, performs on the balance beam during the women's artistic gymnastic qualifications at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)
Simone Biles performs on the balance beam during the women's artistic gymnastic qualifications Credit: AP/Natacha Pisarenko

Simone Biles will return to compete in the Olympics after pulling out of three individual event finals.

Biles withdrew early in the women’s team final last week, citing mental health reasons. The reigning champion had said it was a "really stressful Olympic games".

The 24-year-old US star will now compete in the women’s beam final on Tuesday, USA Gymnastics has confirmed.

The sports body tweeted on Monday: "We are so excited to confirm that you will see two U.S. athletes in the balance beam final tomorrow - Suni Lee AND Simone Biles!! Can’t wait to watch you both!"

At the start of the games, Biles had hoped to equal or surpass her quadruple gold medal haul in Rio 2016.

But she left the floor after one rotation of the subsequent team final last Tuesday after failing to land a vault.

Speaking in a press conference afterwards, Biles said she decided to withdraw to work on her "mindfulness".

Simone Biles Credit: AP

Biles later confirmed she had pulled out due to "twisting". The phenomenon known as the 'twisties' is temporary struggle with spatial awareness.

She explained on social media: “It has never transferred to bars and beam for me. This time it’s literally in every event which sucks.

“(You) literally cannot tell up from down. It’s the craziest feeling ever, not having an inch of control over your body.”

Biles will be the third of eight starters in the beam final on Tuesday, for which she qualified in seventh place last Sunday. She won a bronze medal in Rio, behind Sanne Wevers of the Netherlands, who failed to qualify this time, and her US team mate Laurie Hernandez.